The deposit is shallow and relatively flat lying, gradually dipping from the east to the west. The ore is likely to be free digging with good geotechnical stability. The water table is located beneath the bottom of the deposit mitigating the need for mine dewatering. Storm water run-off control will be required to minimise water ingress into mining areas. This water may be captured for use in the processing plant.
Desktop studies indicate mining equipment required will include medium sized excavators, fixed body dump trucks, scrapers, mine watering trucks, graders and bulldozers. Western Australia has a well-established contract mining industry and the size of mining equipment required are standard and commonly available. This allows full contract mining to be selected to reduce the capital costs of the project.
The geological resource to mineable reserve conversion rate for similar cobalt/nickel oxide deposits is typically 85%. This high conversion rate is due to the narrow grade range, considerable thickness and relatively flat lying disposition of this style of deposit. We anticipate a similar conversion rate at Mt Thirsty.